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About this Video

Tony and Eric evaluate a new metric to improve relationships between police and the communities they serve.

Anthony W. Batts is the former Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department, the eighth largest municipal police department in the United States.

Batts has received various awards and commendations for heroism, crime reduction, community activism, and innovative programs, including California State University Long Beach Alumni of the Year, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award in the cities of Long Beach and Oakland, and Leadership Long Beach Alumnus of the Year. Batts was also honored by the Anti-Defamation League for community outreach efforts to erase anti-Semitism, bigotry, and intolerance.

J. Eric Kowalczyk specializes in critical incident mitigation, strategy development for crisis resolution, crisis communications, public affairs, municipal communications, internal/external communications strategy, video production for social media, social media, media relations/training, community development and mediation, community problem solving, deployment planning, and neighborhood outreach.

Kowalczyk served as the Chief Spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, the 8th largest police department in the nation. A senior strategy advisor to the Police Commissioner, he was responsible for the planning and execution of all internal and external communication strategies. In addition, he helped to develop and implement new community engagement programs to build legitimacy in the community and enhance the ability of the Baltimore Police Department to reduce violent crime.


About the Speakers

Eric Kowalczyk

Eric Kowalczyk

Eric Kowalczyk specializes in critical incident mitigation, strategy development for crisis resolution, crisis communications, public affairs, municipal communications, internal/external communications strategy, video production for social media, social media, media relations/training, community development and mediation, community problem solving, deployment planning, and neighborhood outreach. Kowalczyk has trained more than 200 communication specialists in 25 cities, and presented at numerous national conferences.

He has developed a reputation of being dynamic thinker, drawing on a diverse set of skills to quickly identify problems and develop innovative solutions and long-term prevention strategies.

Kowalczyk served as the Chief Spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, the 8th largest police department in the nation. A senior strategy advisor to the Police Commissioner, he was responsible for the planning and execution of all internal and external communication strategies. In addition, he helped to develop and implement new community engagement programs to build legitimacy in the community and enhance the ability of the Baltimore Police Department to reduce violent crime. The role allowed him to fully utilize his experience developing community outreach programs, coordinating large-scale events and initiatives, while directing public messaging through the third largest law-enforcement social media following in the nation.

Previous successful community projects include developing the Nuisance Abatement Community Engagement Program, creating the “Dear John” Prostitution Abatement Program, fostering relationships with more than 60 distinct neighborhood associations in Baltimore, planned and built the largest multi-jurisdictional Unified Command ever used in the City of Baltimore.

In addition to community work, Kowalczyk also has well rounded experience in systematic, structural evaluation of operating methods. The most notable example is seen in pre-event security planning and the implementation of those plans for large-scale events. Examples consist of Artscape (America’s largest free arts festival), Baltimore Grand Prix, Sailabration, AFRAM, Baltimore Under Armour Marathon, and the Preakness Stakes. Hosting more than 500 special events per year, Kowalczyk redesigned the operating modality of the Baltimore Police Department’s Special Events Unit. This not only included creating the Standard Operating Procedure manual currently used by the Special Events Unit; it enabled him to work with event promoters to create cost-effective security deployments.

Kowalczyk was the face of the Baltimore Police Department during the “Freddie Grey Riots.” He was responsible for developing and executing the crisis communication strategy during the most violent and destructive riots in the last 40-years of Baltimore’s history.

Handling local, national, and international media, Kowalczyk focused on transparency and accountability to connect with an already distrustful public. He focused on working to define the role of the police department without further escalating tensions. Drawing from lessons learned during the Ferguson riots, Kowalczyk implemented and carried out a plan that was widely praised by media across the county as being responsive and understanding of community concerns.

Raised in New England, Kowalczyk is pursuing his master’s degree in Communications. An avid football fan he is also a devotee of philosophical studies, history and music.

Tony Batts

Tony Batts

During his 30+ years in law enforcement, Anthony W. Batts served at the helm of three of the nation’s largest police agencies. His progressive and innovative style repeatedly transformed organizations into high performers. Throughout his tenure (2002-2009) as Chief of Police in Long Beach, California, his team dramatically reduced the city’s crime rates to numbers not seen since the early 1970s. In late 2009, then-Chief Batts was appointed to head the distressed Oakland (California) Police Department. Despite limited resources, he once again guided his team to achieve significant reductions in violent crime. From September 2012 until July 2015, Mr. Batts was appointed Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. During that time, his team was able to implement reforms that led to dramatic reductions in all metrics used to assess police performance, including overall declines in all Part I crime numbers, excessive force objections, and citizen complaints.

In addition to his active service in law enforcement, Mr. Batts has shared his expertise in contemporary practices in policing, public policy issues, and systems analysis in myriad ways. In 2012, Mr. Batts was awarded a one-year fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice as an expert lecturer on police operations. As an integral member of the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety, also at Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice, Mr. Batts collaborated with esteemed researchers and practitioners to make global contributions to the concepts of community policing and community justice. Currently, Mr. Batts’ independent consulting company, The A. William White Group, provides focus on leadership, policy issues, police operations, and efficiency auditing to law enforcement agencies and organizations around the world.

Mr. Batts is a past California Governor’s appointee and chair of the California Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission (P.O.S.T.). He served as a P.O.S.T. Commissioner and on the executive board of the California Police Chiefs Association. Mr. Batts was Vice President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association in 2011. He has also been a member of the Alameda County Chiefs Association, the Los Angeles Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (I.A.C.P.), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (N.O.B.L.E.) and the Police Executive Research Forum (P.E.R.F.).

Mr. Batts has received various awards and commendations for heroism, crime reduction, community activism, and innovative programs, including California State University Long Beach Alumni of the Year, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award in the cities of Long Beach and Oakland, and Leadership Long Beach Alumnus of the Year. Mr. Batts was also honored by the Anti-Defamation League for community outreach efforts to erase anti-Semitism, bigotry, and intolerance. He has served on the following boards: Long Beach Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees; Board of Governors for Long Beach City College; Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America; and the Long Beach Children’s Clinic.

Mr. Batts holds a Doctorate in Public Administration, a Master in Business Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Administration. Additionally, he is a graduate of the following executive programs: Harvard University’s Executive Development Course; F.B.I.’s National Executive Institute; Police Executive Training Course; University of Southern California’s Delinquency Control Institute; F.B.I.’s National Academy; Leadership Long Beach; Law Enforcement Command College; and International Association of Chiefs of Police S.W.A.T. Commander School. Mr. Batts has also participated in numerous national and international counterterrorism trainings addressing the safety of ports, airports, entertainment venues, and light rail transportation systems.

Mr. Batts is the proud father of one daughter and two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, jazz concerts, and sporting events.